The ads, the relentless promises of money from Publisher’s Clearing House and the infinite series of flyers in your mailbox can be enough to make anyone grimace. In an age where you can opt out of spam in your email box, it would make sense that you can opt out of junk mail too. However, most consumers don’t know that this is an option, let alone how to do it. If you’re tired of advertisements, gimmicks and credit card offers taking up space in your mailbox and in your trash can, follow these easy opt out steps for junk mail free bliss.
Opt out for five years
To opt out of credit and prescreened insurance offers for five years, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or go to the Opt-Out Prescreen Website. You will need to input some basic information, but the whole process can be completed online or on the phone. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to repeat this process every five years.
Opting out forever
If you decide that you are over junk mail for good, the Opt Out website gives you an option to opt out of prescreened insurance offers permanently. Start this process by visiting the Opt-Out Prescreen website, fill out the form and return the Permanent Opt-Out Election form you receive after you complete your online request. Permanent opt outs require your disclosing your full name, telephone number and Social Security number, but this information is not shared with anyone, it is simply to track your request.
If you choose to initiate your request to opt out of credit and insurance offers by mail instead of online or over the phone, you can send a written request to opt out to each of the big three credit bureaus. When sending your request, make sure you include your name, telephone number, Social Security number and your date of birth on each letter.
One by one
If you choose to selectively receive some of your “junk” mail while eliminating others, you can opt out from each offer individually for each company you select. As your mail comes in, use the forms generated by the Do Not Mail registry. Fill out the form and then send it to each company you have decided you no longer want to receive ads from. At that point, you are opted out of their database for good.
Once you opt in to opt out, understand that these requests are not processed immediately. It can take as long as 60 to 90 days before you starting seeing your junk mail dwindle down, but ultimately it will disappear.